By James Eugene
It’s official. Global stocks have now entered bear market territory, with some of the world’s largest equity markets experiencing mass selloffs. Amid all of the commotion, there have been a few emerging and frontier markets that have so far been defying the global downturn.
1. Kazakhstan: +6.30%
Despite being bombarded with currency and oil troubles, Kazakhstan’s market has been a top performer so far this year. KAZ Minerals PLC has been the best performing stock on the exchange so far this year, up 28.19% despite releasing negative production numbers at the end of January, which didn’t faze investors and pushed the price up by 14%. Another high-flyer is Kazakhstan Electricity Grid, which is not only up by 15.75% since the start of the year, but it also boasts a huge 92.09% increase since the same time last year.
2. Jamaica: +6.07%
The Caribbean nation was ranked as the best performing frontier market in 2015 and it continues its upward trend into the early part of 2016. Investors that were in the market at the start of last year would have doubled their money up until now, while the general market sentiment remains positive as the Jamaican Stock Exchange continues to rally. 2016 could also be there year that we see many more listings on both the main and junior markets.
3. Tunisia: +3.96%
Tunisia’s stock exchange has adopted a steady approach to growth since the start of the year and its slowly beginning to pay off. It has recently been mooted as the MENA’s next startup hub. However, the North African country has recently been plagued by unrest due to unemployment conditions, which are prevalent among the younger sections of society.
4. Slovakia: +3.90%
Slovakia’s stock market was another good performer in 2015, ending the year 31.11% up and currently holding the title of being the best market in Europe so far this year. From a macroeconomic perspective, Slovakia has also posted strong growth figures after making huge steps since the previous financial crisis: GDP growth sits around the 3% mark and the unemployment rate fell by around 2% last year.
5. Latvia: +3.64%
The Riga Stock Exchange enjoyed a 45.66% increase in 2015, with one of the main reasons being an increase in the share price of its pipeline operator Ventspils Nafta Tranzits. Numerous private sector and tax reforms have also played a part in 2015’s rally, which has subsequently spilled over into this year’s performance. GDP figures have also been good as the Baltic nation enjoyed 2.6% growth in the final quarter of 2015.
6. Indonesia: +2.64%
The Jakarta composite index has been a beacon of light in a relatively dark section of the Asian subcontinent. Despite posting its weakest growth figures since the start of the financial crisis – 4.8 percent for the whole of 2015 – investors have remained confident in President Joko Widodo. Increases in both public spending and private consumption have been the catalyst to drive the market upwards.
7. Mauritius: +2.34%
Finally, the Mauritius stock exchange has enjoyed a 2.34% increase since the start of the year. The best performing stocks last year were Swan General Ltd (28.96%) and Rockcastle Global Real Estate (25.3%).
Data as of 12FEB2016. Special mention to other markets that haven’t been place on the list, including Morocco and Colombia.